pumpkin cake with cream cheese icing

Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Icing. My friends, my fall-sweet-loving palette has been so pleased. This icing. This icing. It is the perfect blend of cream cheese and powdered sugar goodness. You must make this before fall’s end. It’s sweet fall comfort in cake form. And what’s really better than that?

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Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Icing with Caramelized Pumpkin Seeds

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (I only had ground on hand)

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves (I only had allspice on hand)

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (9 ounces) pumpkin puree

1 cup vegetable or canola oil

1 1/3 cup sugar

3/4 teaspoon salt

3 large eggs, at room temperature, yolks and whites separated

for the frosting and the caramelized pumpkin seeds:

9 tablespoons butter, divided, at room temperature

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Pinch of cinnamon

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (raw or toasted)

Directions:

1. THE CAKE: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and position a rack in the center. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan, then line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper and butter that, too. (I buttered and floured my pan).

2. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves into a bowl and set aside. Use the whisk attachment of a stand mixer to combine the pumpkin, oil, sugar, and salt. With mixer on medium speed, add the egg yolks one at a time, waiting for one yolk to be fully incorporated before adding the next. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture, turning off the machine as soon as the dry ingredients are just incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

3. Whisk the three egg whites until they are frothy and white. Fold them into the batter using a rubber spatula until they were no longer visible (but be careful not to over mix). Pour the cake batter into the pan and bake on the center rack in the oven. Begin checking the cake after 40 minutes, (mine took 50 minutes. my oven can take a little while longer), removing the cake when a toothpick or thin knife inserted into the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool in its pan on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes, or until the cake is pulling away from the pan, before inverting it onto a wire rack.

4. THE FROSTING: Using the paddle attachment of a stand mixer, beat together 8 tablespoons of the butter and the cream chess until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the powdered sugar and beat until the frosting is smooth with no dry traces of sugar.

5. THE PUMPKIN SEEDS: In a small saucepan over medium heat, caramelize a tablespoon of sugar until it is a rich reddish-brown color. You’ll want to stir the melted parts of the sugar towards the middle while avoiding over-stirring, which can turn the mixture dry and crumbly. Once the sugar is dark and fragrant, add the last tablespoon of butter and stir quickly until it has melted and the sauce is smooth. Add the pumpkin seeds and stir until they’re evenly coated in sauce. Transfer the seeds to a plate lined with parchment paper so that they cool and harden. (I did not have pumpkin seeds, so I just grated a bit of semi-sweet chocolate over the top).

*The source of this recipe is found on the Food52 website here.

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